Dianova launches the “Human Empowerment” campaign

The international organization aims to promote a holistic perspective of addiction treatment based on individual empowerment, and raise awareness about the relationship between addiction and gender

Human Empowerment

One of the images of the Human Empowerment campaign

Press Release

Barcelona, June 21, 2019 – On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, on June 26, Dianova launches the ‘Human Empowerment’ campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about the need to promote holistic addiction treatment services based on people’s empowerment and individual development, and integrating a gender perspective.

Through this unique concept, the campaign will be developed in three phases, under the following themes: to regain one’s capacity to choose and embrace one’s life, to promote education and life skills, and finally, to foster empowerment and regain power over one’s life.

Disorders related to alcohol and other substances have spread dramatically and no nation remains immune to their considerable human and economic costs. To address these issues, most countries have a range of support and treatment services, but enormous effort is needed to adapt these services to the special needs of people at all levels.

The campaign also intends to urge governments and the private sector to provide the necessary means for the development of programs adapted to the specific needs of all people. In particular, it aims to highlight the links between gender and addiction and the specific needs of women who require treatment and rehabilitation programs.

Women are particularly affected by inequality when it comes to accessing treatment services. Women with substance use disorders are victims of prejudice and discrimination. Not only are they ‘labeled’ as consumers of alcohol or other drugs, but also as having failed in their traditional roles as mothers and wives. The impact of this double stigma speaks volume: out of five people receiving treatment, only one is a woman!

Moreover, most treatment resources remain inadequate. They are based mainly on an androcentric perspective that does not take into account the scope of women’s needs. As a result, many of the women who start a treatment program report anxiety and a lack of motivation. After completion of treatment, they are also more likely to relapse due to a lack of social support, financial problems or difficult living conditions.

Dianova advocates the implementation of gender responsive programmes for women with substance use disorders, including a wide range of services such as family counselling, legal assistance and labour and vocational training. In addition, these programmes must be culturally-adapted and offer modalities such as separate modules for pregnant women and women with dependent children.

Dianova believes that girls’ and women’s rights are fundamental human rights and that there is an urgent need to create more awareness of the specific problems women face when confronted with substance use disorders. This is the reason why the campaign will endeavour to emphasize how addiction and gender are closely interconnected, through the lens of a single concept, Human Empowerment. 

About Dianova

Dianova is an international network comprising associations and foundations dedicated to the development of individuals, communities and organizations through a variety of programmes and interventions in the social, health and humanitarian sectors. The Dianova network operates in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Principal Affiliations

Dianova International has Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC[1]), it is a registered civil society organization to the Organization of American States (OAS[2]) and an official partner of UNESCO[3]. Dianova is also a member of the executive boards of: the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationships with the United Nations (CoNGO[4]), the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC[5]), the NGO Committee on Mental Health[6], and the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC[7]).

For additional information, please contact

  • Ms. Montserrat Rafel Herrero, Director General
  • Tel. (34) 93 636 57 30
  • E-mail: montse.rafel@dianova.org  | Web: www.dianova.org[8]


  1. ^ ECOSOC (www.un.org)
  2. ^ OAS (www.oas.org)
  3. ^ UNESCO (en.unesco.org)
  4. ^ CoNGO (www.ngocongo.org)
  5. ^ WFTC (wftc.org)
  6. ^ NGO Committee on Mental Health (www.ngomentalhealth.org)
  7. ^ VNGOC (vngoc.org)
  8. ^ www.dianova.org (www.dianova.org)

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